THE BLOG

Are We Too Emotionally Invested in Television?

27/04/2015 21:19 BST | Updated 25/06/2015 10:59 BST

WARNING: This blog contains spoilers about "Grey's Anatomy" which you may want to avoid.

I've worked in television for over five years now but its grip on my life stretched many years before that. Like Homer Simpson; television had a hand in raising me. Ironically Homer Simpson played a significant part in my upbringing.

People will remind you that your favourite comedy or drama is not real. This often happens when you show a "Clarkson fandom" level of passion for these non-fictional characters. However in this day and age where we binge watch television - we clock up hours of our life like never before and that is very real. You're invested.

Which brings me to "Grey's Anatomy".

At its last count there were 241 episodes of "Grey's Anatomy". Now I'm a writer and not a mathematician so bear with...at approximately 40 mins an episode that's 9640 minutes which is a roughly 161 hours. So that means I've spent six days and 17 hours of my life watching this one show.

Don't tell me that's not real.

The Mail Online has become notorious for putting "SPOILER ALERT" in their sidebar and then revealing the plot in the next sentence, which I think, might be the penalty for reading the Showbiz sidebar. Nevertheless when it revealed the latest death in "Grey's Anatomy" I felt like I had been cheated. Not necessarily by The Mail Online which let's face it has much bigger targets than to ruin the viewing habits of yours truly. I felt cheated by the show.

Derek Shepherd is dead.

As I've mentioned I've spent days of my life investing in Shepherd and Grey's relationship so to be cheated out of a happy ending felt like injustice.

Meredith Grey is one of the least likeable protagonists in television history but her relationship with Derek was a story driver and an important one. Now that several key characters have been killed off or have left it begs the question; what next?

"Jumping the shark" has become an expression for when a show loses the plot and it'll be interesting to see if the "Death of McDreamy" will have the same impact on popular culture. If you get an ensemble show right (which is what "Grey's" essentially turned into) then you can get to a point where no one is bigger than the show. That's the test now for the Grey's ridiculously talented creator Shonda Rhimes. Hopefully she'll take tips from equally brilliant show "How to get away with murder".

"Grey's Anatomy" has become one of those shows, which is consistently brilliant. It's slick and engaging and full of beautiful people. Everything you expect from American telly. There are now 11 series which means that if you talk about people kind of say "Oh I never had chance to get into that and I suppose it it's too late now". I say if you have a week to spare give it a go.

However it might also be the old model of television in which we invest week by week not knowing the outcome. Nowadays your mates who binge entire series in a weekend will tell you whether it deserves your time, tears and laughter.

But don't forget it's not real.